“Now Moses was 80 years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.”
Moses was on his third career at this point in his life. First, he was raised in the court of Pharaoh, ruler of Egypt, for forty years. Then he was a shepherd in the wilderness for another forty years. Now he was sent by God to deliver the people of Israel from their slavery in Egypt and to take them into the land that had been promised to them by God.
No retirement for Moses or Aaron. Both of them worked hard up to the point that they died in the wilderness doing the work that the Lord had given them to do.
At fifty-nine I feel that my life is just starting a new stage. Maybe I have another twenty or thirty years of real ministry and work for the Lord ahead of me. And I am excited about this opportunity. I do not want to spend the balance of my life collecting retirement benefits – playing golf – wandering on a beach – clipping coupons – playing bridge – or anything else that I think that I deserve after a long career of hard work. I do not want to retire. There is just too much work to be done. There are so many opportunities for real service to Jesus Christ and to the world around us.
I have a good friend who is a few years over sixty. He is retired from a career in the Navy and another few years in the business world. Two years ago he and his wife went to Japan to serve as long-term missionaries. I have another friend who was raised by missionary parents in India. After many years as a missionary in India and as a pastor in the United States and a teacher at a seminary, he has taken on a new task to help bring theological education to church-planting pastors in India. He is in his seventies (at least).
There are so many opportunities out there. The needs are great. Jesus Christ does not set age limits on his servants. We don’t retire from his service. There is a great need for wisdom and experience in the world today. Maybe you were not called to go as a young man or a young woman. Maybe you were called to stay and work and raise a family. That is wonderful. But not that you have done that, what are you called to do?
Most of us in America assume that once we have finished our careers we deserve to rest until the end of our lives. We are to enjoy our retirement. I am not sure where this idea came from. Don’t get me wrong – I believe that we can enjoy ourselves in our later years. As a matter of fact, I am looking forward with great excitement to the next twenty or thirty or more years. I believe that my Lord, my Savior, my King, my Commander-in-Chief has wonderful opportunities for me in the years ahead. It could be that our most significant work is ahead of us – not behind us.
I will have an eternity to rest.